Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2
We hear quite a bit in the news about pushback, especially among political discussions. Elected officials on one side want one thing, and the others want something else. So, stonewalling occurs in attempts to convince of what seems needed, or right. It can prove helpful, other times not so much.
No matter who we are, or what our positions are, we all get pushback of some type. For starters, we can get it from ourselves when we seek what God wants of us. As a result, we can feel stuck. Our concerns about the past alone will call up what we could have done better in this or that, and how it appears too late now to fix it, or for God to use us because of an experience.
Well, maybe it is – for us. But, literally, not to our mighty-to-save God.
And we get it not just from ourselves, but others. Those with the best intentions will gladly provide us every reason to stick only with what appears realistic. For our own good, right? Some will conclude, thoughtfully, and with the most considerate, yet limited human wisdom on our behalf, that perhaps a way in our lives must have never been meant to be – especially if God has taken years to answer a prayer which at times He does.
God’s actions on these obstacles is what moves us out of pushback and into push forth. We must be careful, however, of where we focus our trust. Who cares how unlikely or unreasonable something seems to be, a thing good and only God could do? We need to ask ourselves where our faith is, and notice He is working for our best, keeping constantly in mind He is the creator of our faith. He provides faith to us through the tough things we would love to get rid of in whatever way possible, as quickly as possible.
But do we see the value in it, in all the pushback we observe and experience personally? James goes on to instruct:
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4
God’s love covers over failures, whether ours or from others against us, as only He is able and even wants to turn into that which He can use – for our good and His glory. He genuinely cares to turn things around and make our obstacles tools that serve Him and grow our faith.
Does this always appear true?
Is it still true?
Without a doubt.
And why ask God for what we cannot do ourselves? Our faith is made strong when we turn to Him for what we and anyone else would think is unreasonable – translation: impossible, unrealistic. And let’s face it. We would also be open to describing “unreasonable” even as crazy. So why humiliate ourselves by trying to pull a Noah? After all, we want to fit in, right? No one wants to come across in any form as out of his mind – we want to seem like we go with the flow, yes?
Think about when someone asked you for something you thought was difficult to do, but they made the request of you because they believed in your ability and willingness without question. Nice to receive such confidence, isn’t it? We want others to notice our abilities and point them out by asking us to display those abilities through expending effort for a cause. We do the same with God when we ask Him for hard things. Of course, the hard things are not hard to Him at all.
But actually, we really do not care so much about the thing we think is unreachable.
What we care most about regarding the difficult thing is the cost of our faith, getting humiliated for trusting God through a long haul of asking and waiting. We wonder, “How much is this going to cost me?” We might not say such words out loud, or admit them in our hearts, but we question the cost of our faith by not moving forward in trust that God will work a matter out for us.
We consider that we are making ourselves look like a joke when, in reality, we cannot afford to in any way. We need God to move on our behalf – and now – because we are out of time and energy about it.
We are getting pressure on all sides to give up and give in and take an easy route that will help us appear normal, and especially comfortable, but know may not be what God is leading only us to do.
There are times when a matter is between you and God alone, and no one else. Not one other soul will understand it. This is because in His plans no one else is supposed to.
All you know at present is you must do what the Lord’s heart is leading you to do. This is not easy because it might be all you have to go on. Little makes sense to you in it, but you continue on anyway. All you have for taking your next step is a resolve that God Himself maintains in your life, that He is in control of the ultimate outcome of the pushback – whatever the source.
Amanda Hughes is experienced in public policy issues, particularly marriage and family, school choice, and religious freedom. Hughes approaches public policy issues through observing combined effects that both social and fiscal decisions bear on each another. For more information about Amanda Hughes, visit http://www.amandahugheswriter.com/?p=326